Sector 7 wrote:
The most fascinating part of the article was that Gene Roddenberry wanted a gay character on TNG. If that would have happened, perhaps we would have been fully accepted by now. As it is, many of us in the US, and elsewhere, are still waiting for full equality.
Rather, he was belatedly open to the idea after resisting it for some time. David Gerrold (who was closeted at the time) wanted to include a gay couple in the background of the "Blood and Fire" episode he was writing, which was an allegory for AIDS and the discrimination it provoked (or exacerbated), and his conflict with the producers over whether to take that step was part of what led him to quit the show before it had even premiered.
If it was a proposal abandoned years earlier, that would explain why it wasn't mentioned in those fanzine articles about the development of TAS.
With all due respect, it could also mean that it's complete fiction. Non-evidence is evidence of nothing.
And I did explicitly acknowledge the possibility that Scheimer's recollection was in error, so you don't need to tell me that. However, again, we do
know for a fact that the teen-sidekicks prototype concept did exist. There is even surviving concept art which has been reproduced in The Art of Star Trek
and elsewhere. The only thing in this article that we didn't know about it already was that it was developed while TOS was still on the air and intended to coexist with it.
For what it's worth, one of Filmation's first TV series was a Batman
cartoon that premiered in 1968, while the live-action Batman sitcom was still on the air. So it doesn't seem unlikely that Filmation would've explored doing the same thing with Star Trek
around the same time. They might've been trying to develop animated spinoffs of other live-action shows too. The bulk of Filmation's output was adaptations of pre-existing works, including live-action TV series, and at least one more, The Brady Kids
, did air while its live-action original (The Brady Bunch
) was still in production (and its Lassie's Rescue Rangers
debuted just months after the live-action Lassie
ended its run). So the idea of Scheimer trying to convince networks to let him make animated versions of their current live-action shows is entirely plausible.